How many of you know that Banks’ Race Shop is building a roadracing truck? Did you know that the truck is going to be diesel powered? That’s right! A diesel powered roadracing truck! And it will be twin-turbocharged!
What’s the big deal you say? Well, diesels have several advantages over gasoline. First is mileage. Diesels generally achieve 20-40% higher mileage than gasoline-powered equivalents. Improving mileage means less fuel stops in an endurance race. This is a huge advantage and one that can shave critical minutes off of a team’s total time.
Have you ever heard a sound that gave you goose bumps just by hearing it? Ever since I was a kid that magic tone for me was that of a turbine whine. To me it just sounds like power incarnate. I mean…what’s more powerful sounding than a jet taxiing and taking off? That is the sound that suckered me into buying my first turbocharged car: the underrated Merkur XR4Ti. I like my vehicles to be different, and this one sure fit the bill. Aside from looking like the forbidden love child of Saab and a Ford Escort, it had a blown Pinto 2.3 liter engine that whined louder than a dentist’s drill. Turbo lag was BIG, but when it finally built up the power its demeanor turned from that of a timid koala bear to a raging donkey and squished my unassuming passengers deep into their seats. Sweeeet!
I’m a Ford guy. I can’t explain why, except to say that from the time I was a young kid I have always felt more partial to the Blue Oval brand than others. It could be because my dad owned more Fords than other brands. I was one of 6 kids, so we always had large vehicles. I remember going to church in an early 70’s blue Econoline with a 3-on-the-tree shifter. I never got to drive that one, but I remember logging a lot of miles in it. It was replaced by a 1982 brown Econoline powered by a 289 V-8 with a variable venturi carburetor… not one of Ford’s better ideas. This one I did get to drive.